Andritz Oy, part of international technology group Andritz, and LUT University (Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT) launched an extensive collaboration in the field of fiber technology a year ago. As a result, a new state-of-the-art research laboratory for the joint development of sustainable fiber technologies will open at the LUT campus in Lahti on November 3, 2022. The unique corporate collaboration model is a substantial step towards a new way of sharing infrastructures and intensifying research work with external partners.
The new research laboratory and LUT's academic expertise bring added value to Andritz’s own research and innovation. Collaboration with LUT strongly supports Andritz’s development of highly efficient, sustainable products and technologies. In addition, Andritz aims to strengthen its position as a pioneer in innovative technologies whilst supporting its position as one of the most attractive employers in the Finish fiber industry.
Kari Tuominen, President and CEO of Andritz Oy, says: “Locating the research laboratory in Lahti will enable close collaboration between Andritz and LUT researchers. Our cooperation has always been fruitful and effortless for both parties. We’re glad that LUT managed to build the laboratory nearly on schedule despite the logistical challenges related to the global situation.”
“The brand-new laboratory enables us to study, test and analyse on biomass-based fibres and fibre products even better than before. The new facilities will meet the needs of LUT research groups, Andritz and regional industry,” adds Mari Kallioinen-Mänttäri, LUT University Dean.
The aim is to strengthen the bioeconomy cluster in the Lahti area and support the start-up and growth of new businesses. Biorefinery research currently employs four professors and ten researchers on the Lahti campus. LUT aims to increase the overall number to 40 in the near future. Mari Kallioinen-Mänttäri points out that such a large-scale investment would not have been possible without considerable financial support by the university’s partners.
“Collaboration with Andritz constitutes one of the largest business commissions in LUT’s history. In addition to current joint research, we are exploring possibilities to expand our collaboration beyond fiber research. For students, it will mean more thesis and job opportunities,” says Mari Kallioinen-Mänttäri.